Preventing a lockout from happening in the first place is the best solution to avoiding an inconvenient and unsafe lockout scenario. Take preventative measures like these helpful tips:
Trust a Friend
Trust a friend or relative with a spare key. Just make sure that the friend or relative is willing to come to you in your time of need.
Noise triggers reactions. Attach a noisy accessory to your key chain. If you drop your keys, they will make a loud sound that can’t be missed.
Not a Tether
Never hand your keys to your baby to use as a teething ring or toy, especially not if they are on an electronic key fob. The slobber can get inside the electronics and cause them to malfunction. Even if the keys never go into the child’s mouth, they can be easily dropped and lost in the hands of an infant.
Never Can Be Too Sure
Don’t become overly obsessed with the fear of losing your keys, but make it a habit to check and double-check for your keys before you leave your home or workplace and before you shut that car door to lock. If necessary, set a reminder on your phone or place a checklist next to your doors that remind you to be sure your keys are in your hands before locking doors.
Bags or Clothing
Keep a spare set of keys for your home, office, and car inside a bag, a briefcase, or an item of clothing that you wear every day. If you are a student and have a book bag, put a spare key inside. Or if you carry a computer bag or briefcase to work, tuck a spare key in one of its pouches. Or if you carry a purse, place a spare key inside a small zippered compartment, so it is there when you need it.
Jewelry or Hooks
Carry your keys on a lanyard around your neck or on a hook that attaches to your belt loop. This method used to be a common method used for children who needed to let themselves into their home after school but before mom and dad got home from work, and keys were safely tucked on necklaces worn under clothing so as not to make it obvious that the child would be home alone during after school hours. The method of keeping a spare key as part of your jewelry or latched to your clothing doesn’t have to end with a method used for children. Regardless of the age of the person, knowing that a spare key is accessible and attached to your clothing or on a chain around your ankle, wrist, or neckline is reassuring.
Use a GPS tracking device to attach to your key chain, so you can locate your keys if they become lost.
Consider setting up keyless entries for your home and car. If you own a business or commercial property, have keyless entries or electronic access card systems in place for your employees. Some personal keyless systems can be operated directly from your cell phone. Both personal or business keyless entries are able to be programmed and reprogrammed as needed without needing to get a key cut.
Cover Your Tracks
Keep a spare house or office key in the glove box of your car, and keep a spare car key inside your house, at your desk at work, or in your wallet. Don’t make so many duplicate copies that you lose control of who has access to your keys, but have at the very minimum one extra set that is for no other purpose but to tuck away in a safe place in case of a lockout emergency.
Smart Hiding Place for House Keys
Choose a place to hide your duplicate key that is not the first place a thief will be likely to look. Select a hiding place for your spare key that is not screaming, “something precious is hidden here”. Never leave a key hidden under a doormat. This is too obvious and allows a too-easy access option for burglars. And, never use those garden rocks that are meant to look like real landscape rocks with a hidden compartment. Thieves who break into houses are not that naive as to not notice these obviously hidden keys. It only makes it that much easier for them to gain access to your house.
Hidden Car Keys
A spare car key can be hidden inside a magnetic key storage box that is placed out of view underneath the vehicle. Though sometimes easily found, these do often provide a great way to store a duplicate key in case of a car lockout. Another option is to store a spare car key inside your wallet, wear it as part of your jewelry, or leave a duplicate copy with a friend. Of course, the electronic keys prove to be more tricky when finding hiding spots like these.
Key and Lock Maintenance
Not every lockout occurs because of a lost key. Sometimes, a key breaks off inside the ignition or doorknob, or the lock itself wears out. In fact, approximately one-third of all lockouts are because of a damaged lock or key. Avoid these situations the best you can by making sure you provide proper maintenance to your locks. This involves frequent lubrication and cleaning your locks on a regular basis. Replace damaged or malfunctioning keys as soon as you realize they are in bad shape.
Knowing that you have a spare key tucked away is only reassuring if that key actually works in an emergency. Of course, a traditional cut key will work as long as the lock itself is not broken, but electronic key fobs require working batteries and connections to get the job done. Regularly check to make sure your spare electronic keys or key fobs are working properly.
It never hurts to be completely prepared for any situation, and calling a locksmith doesn’t necessarily have to be your last option. To make sure you are never stranded in an emergency lockout situation, keep the contact information of a locksmith on hand.